For this week’s Monday Minute, Brenda shares with us some timeless wisdom from God’s Word about how to flourish in every life season.
Flourish in Every Life Season
by Brenda Pace
This spring I had the delightful pleasure of leading a women’s retreat where I facilitated a session on the topic of Flourishing in Every Season. The group was a great mix of age, ethnicity, spiritual maturity, roles, stages, and military life experience. I purposely crafted the session to be interactive in order to hear the questions and the collective wisdom from those in the room. I wish you could have heard the lively and meaningful discussion that took place on that sacred ground.
Together, we shared the struggles and fears that accompany seasons of transition. Then together, we looked at the truth found in God’s Word and we celebrated the discoveries that brought us—no matter the age or stage—purpose, hope, and victory. I dare you to read these scriptures and not shout, “Amen!” before you get to the end.
Timeless Wisdom from God’s Word
- For the young woman— “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 ESV).
- For the older woman— “…teach what is good” (Titus 2:3 ESV).
- For the new mom— “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11 ESV).
- For the grieving — “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 ESV).
- For the upcoming PCS— “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121:8 ESV).
- For the deployed spouse— “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word, I hope;” (Psalm 130:5 ESV).
- For the retiree— “…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV).
Aren’t you grateful for the words of hope, wisdom, and truth we find in Scripture? I think I can hear that “Amen!” all the way to Tennessee!
Flourish God’s Way
Transitions into new seasons of life are inevitable. The days and years pass—we get older, we PCS, we change jobs, we launch children, we walk through sorrow, we celebrate. The question of the day is, how do we flourish in every season? If I believe Mr. Oxford (Oxford Dictionary), I know I’m flourishing if I “grow or develop in a vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment.” I cannot be the only one who is quick to respond that “particularly congenial environment” does not describe every season—especially when Uncle Sam is involved in the equation.
This is the beauty of our counter-cultural, always with us, will work all things for our good God. His definition of flourish is not the same as Mr. Oxford’s. In God’s economy, flourishing is not all about our comfort, ease, or success.
The key to the best kind of flourishing is found in Psalm 52:8-9.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
I will thank you forever, because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good.
In the presence of the godly. (ESV)
Three Steps to Flourish in Every Season
The NET version of Psalm 52:8 reads, “But I am like a flourishing olive tree…I continually trust in God’s loyal love.” That word “continually” communicates to me no matter what the season brings, no matter how challenging it may be to adjust, if it be a season of loss or plenty, I will continually—every day and forever and ever—trust in God.
Here are three things I glean about flourishing in every season from Psalm 52:8:
- Trust. I flourish when I trust in God’s steadfast and loyal love—every day in every season.
- Thank. I flourish when I thank God for what he has done for me in the past, knowing he will be faithful in the present and the future.
- Wait. I flourish when I wait on him to fulfill his purpose in each season of life.
Lord, help me to discern your purpose for the season of life in which I find myself. Like the psalmist, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose in me” (Psalm 57:2 ESV).
Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul, Zondervan, 2010.
Lois Evans, Seasons of a Woman’s Life, Moody, 2013.
Mark Manion, The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions, Zondervan, 2012.